Emerge-ed? — Further Thoughts

emergentvillage_logo.jpg My little Emerge-ed? piece really seemed to strike a cord with some people, and maybe hit a nerve with others. As I’ve thought about this over the last little bit, I decided that an addendum might be in order.

Even Brian McLaren is clarifying statements about him having “moved past” Emergent, (Tony Jones goes defensive over different issues with the article, getting a response from Marcia Ford) but I did like what Brian said:

For what it’s worth, I have no interest in arguing who is and who isn’t emergent, emerging church, missional church, postmodern, new monastic, etc., etc., etc. It’s just not the way I think, and in fact, drawing branding lines to define an in-group or out-group makes me itchy. Besides, for some people, having emergent sympathies might be like working for the CIA – the people who are deepest in could be the last to admit it for lots of good reasons.


I believe I ordered the LARGE cappuccino You have to read that title with a Mike Meyers beat poet voice like in So I Married an Axe Murderer (a true classic, directed by Thomas Schlamme of West Wing fame). I don’t know if we’re all “emerge-ed” now — I doubt it — but it looks like we’re dropping the name. Some of this appears to be distancing from Emergent™ and some looks to be simply distancing from labels that are confusing and misleading to some. Often people get a certain idea of what the term “emerging church” means, and the idea has a lot read into it that shouldn’t be there. No doubt some of the reading-in is caused by the poisoning of the waters by some critics who essentially critique a caricature rather than an accurate portrait of the emerging church itself. In some cases, I gather the caricature becomes so pervasive that some distancing from the term itself needs to take place. I hate when this happens with the really good terms.

Is There An Emerging Systematic Theology?

manuscript.jpg Or is that an oxymoron? At first blush, one would think that a systematic theology is such a modern construct that it would never fly as a postmodern emerging concept. On the other hand, what is a systematic theology but a collection of positions on the full complement of theological subjects? With all the “conversation” flying left and right, all that’s left is to gather it up, cross-reference it, and call it systematic, right? Or is it only about ecclesiology anyway? This post is a resurrected draft from August 2007, and if anything I think there’s a trend that has become more solid in the year since I jotted down my first early thoughts. While the emerging church was initially taken up with ecclesiology and philosophical questions concerning post-modernism, these topics have branched out, rippling through other areas of theology. Brian McLaren’s A New Kind of Christian and its two sequels began to delve into various areas of theology as we followed Dan and Neo through a conversational reconsideration of a variety of accepted conclusions to theological questions… not just ecclesiology. (And it still strikes me as strange that McLaren was maligned the worst when he got to the doctrine of hell, of all things… as though Christians would reconsider anything except the surety of the eternal torment of others. But anyway.)

50 Ways to Define “Missional” – VI

Blues Brothers:  On the Missio Dei. Almost inadvertently, I began a series examining the posts from the recent missional synchroblog in which I participated with a total of 50 bloggers (plus a few unofficial entries). Recalling my the missional series from last summer, I’m determined to wrap this one up in fewer words. In any event, we dive into the next batch of submissions for consideration.

Mark Petersen begins with a story, then explains why it is missional, which he defines in ten points:

Discovering the Daily Office

quietly-praying.jpg I’ve been writing a fair bit on themes around a missional order since Seabeck. Anyone new to this blog might think I write on little else, but this is simply a current theme… we’ll be onto other matters soon enough, though this one is quite unlikely to be left behind entirely. I
talked a little bit about the daily office and its relation to liturgy already, but the whole subject of the daily office is one that I’ve been encouraged to write about a little more.

For those who are less familiar with the whole subject, there’s a fairly long-ish Wikipedia entry for Canonical Hours, and quoting from its introduction:

Canonical hours are ancient divisions of time, developed by the Christian Church, serving as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. A Book of Hours contains such a set of prayers.